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Character analysis: The Crucible
Outline of your paper Intro (with thesis as last sentence)
Body Paragraph #1: Character One (with first sentence as topic sentence) 4 Quotes with analysis/commentary Body Paragraph #2: Character Two (with first sentence as second topic sentence) Conclusion
Steps in constructing and organizing the paragraph
Elements of a paragraph
Topic Sentence Transition Lead-in with evidence Commentary Repeat 2-4 as many times as needed
Topic sentence Contains NO EVIDENCE (no QUOTES!!!!)
A focused idea that supports a thesis statement or responds to a question. It is the FIRST sentence of the paragraph It tells the reader the specific topic and any related issues the writer will be discussing in the paragraph. Contains NO EVIDENCE (no QUOTES!!!!) Introduces the answer to the big idea and connects it to the little idea -- makes a specific claim and states why it is important to notice Example: Both fictional character Romeo Montague from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet and real-life professional golfer Tiger Woods can be considered tragic heroes through their shared tragic flaw of impulsivity, demonstrating that even men of great stature can fall victim to their own reckless desires.
Step One: Create the topic sentence (TS)
Step one: The topic sentences should be in support of your thesis statement, and come from the actual ideas presented there. Do not put it in a topic sentence if it does not come from your thesis….. Example of a thesis: Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as a statement against the ills of Communism of his time by closely aligning the oppression of The Salem Witch trials with modern day events. Example of possible topic sentences: In America in the 1950’s, the Communist scare brought out the worst in people, acting on vengeance instead of common sense, much like the scene in Salem in 1692. Oppression can be defined as the intolerant treatment of others, and can be used as a tool by those who seek power. The Salem Witch Trials act as an ideal juxtaposion against the McCarthy Hearings on Communism as both situations involve oppressive behaviors and power hungry individuals.
Step Two: Gather evidence supporting the topic sentence (EV)
Gather evidence that includes specific details (concrete, showing details in the text) Make sure the evidence proves, or supports, the topic sentence. You may even need to revise your TS after gathering evidence…. Consider the following questions when searching for evidence: Where does the evidence occur in the plot? What actions of the characters support the topic? When do these actions occur? What does a character say that supports the topic? When does the character say it? Why is it said? What is revealed by the narrator that provides supporting evidence? NOW- write out key passages (yes, QUOTES) that relate to each topic sentence
Step Three: Organize the Evidence
Commentary AT LEAST one additional sentence after assertion statement There should be NO evidence in your commentary! Adds your voice, talks about the importance of your claim (not your evidence!) Example: Had Romeo not been so impetuous as to declare his love for a forbidden woman, or to immediately kill himself upon news of her supposed demise, perhaps he would have lived to see the truce between the two warring families.
Conclusion Wraps up the topic sentence, paying particular attention to the analysis of the big and little idea A good conclusion answers: So what? Why should I care? What’s the point of this paragraph? Example: While both men acted in hasty and ill-considered ways, a great lesson can be learned from their behavior. The actions of Tiger and Romeo paint a gruesome reminder that power and position cannot stave off the inevitable downfall from impulsive actions. Both men could have been lauded as symbols of prestige and wealth, yet now they are synonyms for destruction due to careless impulsivity.
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